Sunday, March 19, 2017

Guinea Lion

From @Animangles
Skill: 8 (2 attacks)
Stamina: 10
Habitat: Light forest.
Number Encountered: 1 or a pride of 1 male plus d6 females
Type: Animal
Intelligence: Hungry
Damage: Claws +2, Bite +3
Armour: Hide -3

These omnivorous hunters can be found in almost any wilderness region, from temperate forests to deserts, but are most often found in sub-tropical grasslands. If encountered they are usually lone males, or a small pride of mixed males and females. Not as aggressive as normal lions, they will normally not bother with groups of humans unless starving (stranglers and/or untended horses are another matter), or unless the humans have a lot of food stored in their camps.

Prides are usually stationed around a den that is lined with chewed wood shavings (to wear down their constantly growing fangs) and the remains of their victims.The smaller females are sometimes found in trees where they seek out nuts and leaves. But when a pride chooses to hunt something, they can be tireless and efficient hunters. The site of their cheeks bulging with fresh, bloody meat is said to be particularly unnerving.

Looking for a Place to Happen, Making Rolls along the Way

I think the problem is that Dungeons and Dragons was never my game. The Mentzer Red Box was the first gaming product I ever owned and it will forever occupy an honour place on my bookself, but by the time our group starting seriously playing, we'd already moved on from the occasional recess and rainy Sunday games of random D&D adventures, which were often nothing beyond the GM opening the Monster Manual and saying, 'Let's fight this!'

We did run AD&D a number of times, and even enjoyed a few different iterations of 3rd Edition, but our long running campaigns were all set in the WEG Star Wars universe, and our urge to 'zap and slash' was sated by RIFTS, in which you could play a mage if you wanted to, but it was much more fun to play a ten foot, four armed giant cyber-knight.

When I started growing interested in RPGs again few years ago, I was immediately drawn to the OSR through things like the Save or Die podcast and all the new ‘old school’ product, specifically lines like Labyrinth Lord and Dungeon Crawl Classics. Since my actual gaming time is sporadic at best, I even attempted to scratch my dice-itch by writing up my own far-future game world using a true mash-up between Mutant Future and Labyrinth Lord.

I’ll play anything you put in front of me, and I do when I can make it to the local library game, but that’s when I have a GM who’s familiar enough with the system to be able to look up whether or not in this particular situation, I need to make a DC, or a skill roll, or a Saving Throw, or a percentile role, etc. What I don’t want is to be the GM who has to look that stuff up, or be in that position faced with a player who really wants to try something, and I have no idea how to let them do it. D&D is, imho, full of that kind of thing (related to its origin as a war game?). I know its modular, and that is one of its major strengths, I’m just too lazy to read and retain all of that knowledge.

I like simple systems and have a great affection for games like TWERPS, Toon! and Kobolds Ate My Baby. My first great rpg love is, and will forever be, the (now-called) Omni-System originally created by Steven Micheal Sechi, and used to brilliant effect in the Talislanta game. It’s all one chart, rolled with modifiers provided by stats and skills.
Congratulations, you can now play Talislanta. 
I quickly burned out my Mutant Future/Lab Lord project. Not because I’m not keen on doing it, I still want to explore that world, but because I didn’t want to deal with all those separate rule blocks. As I read through them, I would always try to simplify the process, often to the point where it didn’t feel like old school roleplaying anymore.

So I can’t write D&D, what old-school style to use? WEGd6, Omni-System feel like well explored waters already. TWERPS was a strong contender for a while. I still have some ideas for TWERPS books that I’d like to write up. But it doesn’t need much in the way of revisiting and reexamining the rules. So what system did I want to use? Turns out, the answer was staring me right in the face. At a flea market a few years ago, I picked up a beat up copy of Dungeoneer simply because I like to collect gamebooks and this had Fighting Fantasy on the cover. I read it and forgot about it, but then I few weeks ago I got a copy of Out of the Pit, and it was decided: Advanced Fighting Fantasy it is.

It’s got a minimal amount of simple crunch, and rules that can be played with and easily tweaked while still staying in the basic rule parameters and retaining that Old School feel. Plus there are dozens, if not hundreds of books and magazines to read and explore. I even discovered that some of my own scattered rule ideas (specifically with weapons and damage) plugged into the system without too much trouble at all.

So why not? From here on in, I will be concentrating on my own variant of the AFF system under its working title of WTF (Wizard, Thief Fighter), Fighting Fantasy and other gamebooks, along with my own game world of Yth, the Last Planet in the Universe.

Now, turn to 1.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Evil Plants

Mind control, sheep eating, mobile plants and more! There isn't one of these that wouldn't work wonders in a good campaign. The story that freaked me out was the one about the toilet paper .... gah!
We're coming to get you......

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Holy Crap! An Undead Sharkbear!

The world is just a little more awesome because this exists. 
Image Source

Monday, November 2, 2015

NaGaDeMon 2015: That's More Like It

The lesson today was that when looking for monsters, skip the dollar stores today and head to the local thrift shop. The one near me sells bundles of loose toys you can pick up for a couple of dollars. 

Grabbed a few promising bags and came back with this assortment that must have included someone's Dad's toys because I have a Fisher Price spaceman (the back spacesuit with green face!),a die-cast Japanese robot, a genuine Micronaught and an honest to goodness Dungeons and Dragons figure (the hobgoblin in a blue hood with a green face)!

But my favorite has to be the cyborg gorilla in the background there.  

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Some Days at Work Are More Fun Than Others

It takes a lot to make me geek out in front of celebrities, but this man who has always made me smile. One of my best memories as a kid was the night when my Dad took me see Raiders of the Lost Ark. My only regret is not asking him to say "Very dangerous. You go first." John Rhys-Davies, a formal class act all the way. 

Croatian RPG 'Awaken'

io9 Article by Ed Grabianowski.

Quickstart PDF available HERE.

Official Website, HERE. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

NaGaDeMon 2015: Dollar Store Dungeons

I should have started NaGaDeMon a month ago. I have always had this idea of creating a game based around cheap toys and crap you can find in dollar stores and thrift shops so this year I decieded to put my pocket change where my mouth is and create something. The working title is Dollar Store Dungeon.

With that in mind, I went to the local dollar store today with the idea of getting some good Halloween goodies. I had visions of buying up lots of little plastic skeletons, witches, zombies, spiders, rats and all sort of other creepy crawlies ready to annoy the heroes on their epic quest.

But of course this being October, the store was filled with Christmas crap instead. While the idea of having a Heroes being attacked by Elves and Snowmen is admittedly a little appealing, I think that will have to wait for the expansion set.

About an hour later, I left the store laden down with all this ...

... and absolutely no idea what I am going to do with it.

While there was no overall concept, I did go in looking for a few specific things. The main thing was something or something to use as Game Pieces. The Frozen Guy seemed like a good generic hero. Wanting a female Hero, I got an "action figure" of Helen of Troy.   Her blister pack promises Gladiators and Soldiers, which would have been great, but alas they were all sold out.

These 'wooden block' collections seemed like they might be useful for something so I got two packs of those and a dollar store version of JENGA for some extra pieces.

A few file cards, dice and two packs of plastic jewels (rewards?) and some zombie stickers. I'm most excited about the wooden cubes. It occurred to me that with some coloured markers or stickers these could be used as alternate dice. Maybe a dice with different coloured stickers, corresponding to the same colour sticker on one of the monsters(?).

And finally, here are my monsters.
Have to admit, I'm a little disappointed in the haul here. I can distinctly remember seeing cool robots and plastic dragons at the dollar store before, but today I was lucky just to find some safari animals. And of course I wasn't leaving without a dinosaur. Some of the other monsters you see here are things that I had around the house, like Kinder Surprises and Happy Meal toys because sometimes the dog gets her own chicken mcnuggets. It's hardly the horde of fearsome critters I was hoping to find.

One thing I didn't find was something I could use as a playing surface. I was thinking something along the lines of a big chess board, or maybe a checkered table cloth, but nothing stood out. If need be, I'll pick up some poster board. I've been planning a visit to the local flea market, so I'll see what I can pick up there as well.

So what am I going to do with all of this? No idea. The first vague original idea was to generate some sort of dungeon and have it populated with the critters, but just playing around with the blocks I also thought of maybe a wall or maybe a tower. I'm curious to see how this develops, but the only thing I am absolutely sure of, is that the zebra is gonna mess you up.